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Are Dogs Dreaming?

It's not known with scientific certainty if dogs dream, but it's hard to think that they don't. We've all seen our dogs act in similar ways while they sleep as they do when they are up. Our dogs' paddling legs, snarling, wagging tails, gnawing jowls, and twitching noses make us worry about their dreams.

What's known about dreams and dogs

Despite the fact that we know very little about this subject, the material listed below supports our belief that dogs do dream. According to MIT News, Kenway Louie, a graduate student in 2001, and Matthew Wilson, an MIT professor of neuroscience, have investigated the connections between memory, sleep, and dreams. They discovered that rats' brains developed a specific pattern of neuronal firing when trained to run around a circular track in exchange for food incentives (brain cells). While the rats were sleeping, the researchers once again monitored the animals' brain activity. Surprise, surprise—whether the rats were awake or asleep, they saw the same distinctive brain activity pattern linked to running. The memories actually ran roughly at the same speed while the rats were sleeping as they did while they were awake.

Our preferred interpretation of dog dreams

It's nearly impossible to believe that our dogs are not dreaming when we watch them sleep. It is easy to think that our canine best friends are acting out their most recent experiences—playing at the dog park, sniffing in the woods, chewing on a priceless bone, and chasing squirrels—just like the rats Wilson and Louie investigated.


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